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Tips for Building Self-Esteem in Children

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Do you want your kids to have a sense of self-worth and self-confidence? Follow these tips and tricks for building self-esteem in children.

Tips for Building Self Esteem in Children

Why Is It Important for Children to Have Self-Esteem?

Self-esteem has many dimensions: self-worth, self-confidence, self-acceptance, and self-respect.

It impacts more than a child’s confidence.

Not only do children with self-esteem experience contentment, but they are also better able to cope with challenges.

They are more resilient and have a growth mindset; they develop problem-solving skills.

Children with healthy self-esteem are more likely to set goals and work toward them. Therefore, they experience more academic success.

With their positive self-image, they can better resist peer pressure and develop healthy relationships.

Every child should have self-esteem; the benefits are clear!

How do you go about building self-esteem in children? Check out these tips.

Tips for Building Self Esteem in Children

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Ways to Build Self-Esteem in Children

Building self-esteem in children is a process that takes time. Get the ball rolling with these tips.

Praise Effort

If you want children to develop grit and determination, provide positive reinforcement by praising their efforts.

They will then try harder or problem-solve a new solution–and ultimately find success.

As they receive praise from you and let go of their fear of failure, their sense of self-worth will grow.

Teach Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence is not fixed. Success can be obtained through hard work.

A growth mindset is not bestowed on some and not others; it can be taught.

You can learn more about growth mindset (and how it differs from fixed mindset) here.

Incorporate these growth mindset quotations and try some of these growth mindset activities.

Provide Unconditional Love and Acceptance

Self-esteem flourishes when the child is rooted in love.

Ensure you don’t communicate that you are only pleased with the child when they look, act, or perform a certain way.

When they are secure in your love and approval, they are less likely to find fault with themselves.

Encourage New Paths

It takes a while to “find your thing.” You have to discover and develop your passions.

Encourage children to try new things. Play a new sport, learn to cook, try out for the school play…the new thing may buoy your child’s self-esteem.

Set Realistic Expectations

Although effort is terrific, children also need to experience success.

Set realistic expectations and lay out a game plan for children to reach their goals.

Tips for Building Self Esteem in Children

Teach Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving involves logical thinking coupled with creativity.

You can teach problem-solving skills to children so they have the tools to find success.

Foster Independence

Building self-esteem in children sometimes involves stepping back.

Children get a boost of self-esteem when they accomplish a task without the help of others.

You can give them problem-solving tasks or games to complete.

You can also give them responsibilities to manage. (But make them age-appropriate.)

Celebrate Differences

Comparison is both natural and discouraging.

No one is a duplicate of another, so why compare the two?

Instead, praise what is special or unique about a child. Teach them to respect differences in one another.

Tips for Building Self Esteem in Children

Teach Positive Self-Talk

You aren’t the loudest voice in a child’s ear. Their inner voice is the one that is always talking.

Teach them to be kind to themselves and engage in positive self-talk.

Replace negative, disparaging thoughts with phrases that promote a growth mindset.

For example, instead of saying, “I am bad at math,” say, “I haven’t grasped this concept yet.”

Help with Social Skills

Positive interactions with others can fuel self-esteem. Negative interactions can crush a child’s self-confidence.

We assume that children know how to interact in a healthy way, but that is not always true.

When needed, teach social skills like body and emotional awareness.

You can do this by setting an example yourself, role-playing scenarios, and teaching empathy and basic manners.

Give “Glows and Grows”

Constructive feedback can propel growth. Growth, in turn, influences self-esteem.

Point out what a child did well; these are the “glows.”

Give one item to work on for next time, “the glow.”

Tips for Building Self Esteem in Children

Provide Opportunities for Physical Activity

Studies show that children who engage in physical activity have healthier self-esteem.

So encourage sports, dance, walking, and movement.

Be a Role Model

How is your self-esteem?

Do you speak well of yourself? Do you give yourself grace?

Practice what you preach: try new things, develop a growth mindset, and be kind to yourself.

You can set an example for the kids in your life.

Developing Self-Esteem in Children

With these simple and specific tips, you can be successful in building self-esteem in children.

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